Thursday, November 11, 2010

An Update

For several months after I expected to see improvement in my breathing, I have struggled constantly if I was moving. A few weeks ago I went to them all to pick up some gifts and barely made it to two stores. By this time I was unable to make it back to the parking lot and my car. A visit to the lung doctor told me it was not a lung issue. In fact, she said my lungs sounded good and the oxygen function had improved from the previous visit. She suggested I see my cardiologist. (For those of you who might not have been reading my blog at the time, six years ago I had heart surgery to replace my aortic valve with a mechanical one.) Since then other than an occasional bout of tachycardia I have been fine. Okay, there was the one episode of endocarditis but it was a different valve and antibiotics cleared that right up. My point is that my heart was functioning well.

On Monday night I saw my cardiologist and he was very upset after seeing me that I had not come sooner. I had cancelled on him, he had to reschedule me and my visit to him was two months later than he had requested. He said my heart had not pumped the fluid out of my body and he suspected I had a minimum of twenty pounds of fluid and that is why I was breathless and tired. I had this problem in the hospital immediately after the surgery but not since then. In the hospital I had over thirty pounds of fluid but laying in a bed wasn't experiencing any problems from it. Your heart is a pump and when it doesn't do the job as it should, that is congestive heart failure. It's not something that you die from quickly but over time it weakens. They are going to be watching me carefully now. I was put on lasix, a drug to remove the fluid and in twenty-four hours about twenty pounds of fluid came off. I can walk AND breathe at the same time. It feels so good.

I have never been one to take life for granted. Since my original diagnosis at age 23 I have known that life is fragile. Waking up each morning is a gift for me. I was shaken up at what the doctor said but I have survived so much and there is a lot of spunk left. I am not going to make any changes for now. I will be taking the prescribed lasix for certain. They are also going to try another medicine and get me off my current blood pressure medicine which may make this problem worse. I am glad to know what the problem is and that there are things we can do to make it better. I expect to be feeling so much better and that brings me great relief.

If you have your health, don't take it for granted. It is something so precious and no amount of money can buy it. Life is good. Enjoy it. :)


Ronni Gordon said...

Glad you're feeling better!


You poor thing. Hope the lasix does the job. You have been through so much, for so long. And now this. I know I have trouble with swelling in my ankles and blood pressure medication. Tried them all without much success. Hope they can find the right combination for you. You'll be in my thoughts. Take care of yourself.

Missie said...

Thank Goodness you're doing better. That must have been scary. I take Lasix every day for fluid. Makes me really thirsty!

Have a good week and take care of yourself.

Judith HeartSong said...

Dear Nelle,

I am thinking of you and hoping that you will be feeling much better!